Tag Archives: Old Places

Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 @ Singapore River

The Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 is now entering into her final weekend, this Saturday 13th May and Sunday 14th May, consisting of many different festivities, performances, fun, food and celebration, with the Singapore River being the main attraction for this final Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 weekend.

Taking place at Singapore River this weekend, organised by Asian Civilisations Museum, it’s going to be transformed and brought back in time to the era when the Singapore River was a thriving hub that helped to define Singapore’s status as a trading port and one of the cross roads of the world shipping routes. At where the Asian Civilisations Museum is located, Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 final weekend takes place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May, they are taking over the space, bringing visitors back in time to learn and understand Singapore’s early history, heritage and culture of the Singapore River through the activities, performances and of course, delicious food.

What are some of the festivities, performances and fun that you can expect when you visit Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at Singapore River from 12th to 13th May 2017?

  • Singapore River Performances

Asian Civilisations Museum

Various timings

Free admission

The Asian Civilisations Museum presents a series of performances related to, and inspired by, food stories and migratory cultures.

The performances include:

  • Through My Eyes

by Act 3 International

12 May | 7.30pm

13 May | 3.30pm and 7.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), Hardcourt

Meet three living statues, and listen to them bring the history of Empress Place to life. Revisit hawkers by the river, the old Immigration department, and the government offices of bygone years.

  • Part I: The Dream

by TO ensemble

13 May | 2pm and 4.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 1, Contemporary Gallery

Spice up your afternoon with fusion music that explores the founding of the Lion City.

  • Part II: Port City

by TO ensemble

13 May | 3pm and 5.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 2, Foyer

Be transported back to the hustle and bustle of the old Singapore River scene, and experience its growth over the years through this multicultural musical performance.

  • Sounds of the Island

by TCR Music Pte Ltd

12 and 13 May | 10pm | Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), Hardcourt

& 13 May | 6pm   | Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 2, Foyer

Sing along to Xinyao, Singapore Mandarin pop tunes, surrounded by the river, food, and people that are distinct to the island.

  • A Banquet of Songs

by Vox Camerata

13 May | 1.30pm and 4pm

Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 2, Foyer

Groove to a delectable collection of folk tunes, as this a cappella group tickles your aural palate with songs of adventure, travel, and longing.

  • Museum of Eating

Asian Civilisations Museum

Date & Time: 28 April – 14 May | Throughout museum hours

Free admission

We love our Singapore food, we eat a lot, however, do we know more about food, the processes, habits, quirks and practices here in Singapore? Visit the Museum of Eating inside the Asian Civilisations Museum to find out more!

  • Masak Makan Trail

Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 1, Central Staircase

Date & Time: 12 and 13 May | Throughout museum hours

For children only

This fun activity would be ideal for parents bringing their children to Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at the Singapore River.

Question: “Do you know why the spouts of coffee pots connect near the top of the pot, and tea pots from the bottom?”

You can find the answer by going on a self-guided trail through the Asian Civilisations Museum to discover the answer!

  • Somewhere Around Here

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors)

Date & Time: 28 April – 14 May | Daily

Free admission

Photography enthusiasts, history, heritage, conservation and preservation enthusiasts, this photographic installation will definitely interest you. Walk around the environment around the Asian Civilisations Museum, discover how the surroundings around it had changed over time, through archival photos. Remember to check out the stories and anecdotes from the Oral History archives.

  • Outdoor Film Screening

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors)

Date & Time: 12 & 13 May | 7.30pm – 10pm

Free admission

Watching movies under the stars, have you tried it before? It’s been a long time since I went to watch a movie under the stars! At Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at the Singapore River, catch the local films being screened!

  • Kway Chap (2015)

by Sun Koh (15 minutes)

12 May | 7.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), ACM Green

Even though filmmaker Sun Koh grew up in a family of famous kway chap hawkers, she never made a film about them. But now she makes a last-ditch attempt to document the memories of her family and their livelihood. But many of the places where they started the trade no longer exist – is she too late?

  • Old Friends (2015)

by Royston Tan (67 minutes)

12 May | 8pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), ACM Green

From the creators of Old Places and Old Romances comes the final instalment of the trilogy: Old Friends. Savour the stories of those who pioneered the rich, authentic flavours of traditional Singaporean cuisine – and those lucky enough to taste them – in this evocative film by Royston Tan and his team. 

  • The Missing Ingredient (2016)

by Wang Eng Eng (19 minutes)

13 May | 7.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), ACM Green

The filmmaker follows the struggles of her cousin as he prepares for the Mid-Autumn festival in Singapore. His challenge – recreating the family’s signature salt and pepper moon cake. His efforts are subjected to criticism by the rest of the family, who feel he doesn’t know the recipe. The expectations of continuing a culinary tradition weigh heavily upon the shoulders of her cousin once again this Mid-Autumn.

  • Wanton Mee (2015)

by Eric Khoo (71 minutes)

13 May | 8pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), ACM Green

Wanton Mee presents the journey of Koh Chun Feng, who takes his camcorder with him to local food stalls. He begins to amass the stories of the stall owners, and hidden within those, the history of how Singaporean dishes were created.

Last but not least, when you visit Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at the Singapore River, YOU CANNOT MISS THIS!

  • New Empress Place Food Centre

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors)

Date & Time: 12 May | 7pm – 10.30pm

& 13 May | 5pm – 10.30pm

Free admission

Do you remember the Empress Place Food Centre which used to be in front of the Former Empress Place Building (now known as the Asian Civilisations Museum)? I still have some memories of this place when I was a young kid!

Now, you can relive those memories again, with the New Empress Place Food Centre! Let me show you, some photographs of the delicious local food that you can enjoy when you visit!

This is the final weekend of Singapore Heritage Festival 2017, with Singapore River being the spotlight! Come on down, visit and enjoy yourselves with your family, relatives and loved ones! Do visit the Singapore Heritage Festival website for more details of activities and events taking place at other locations too!

Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 @ Singapore River (organised by Asian Civilisations Museum)

Date & Time:

  • 12 May: 7pm – 10.30pm
  • 13 May: 1pm – 10.30pm

Free admission to the whole museum during the festival, including the Joseon Korea special exhibition.

Visit www.heritagefestival.sg for more details.

* Information courtesy of National Heritage Board *

Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore

The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the society is slowly gaining acceptance and application in real life. In an earlier article, I shared an article on using AR in a hospitality/hotel environment. Today, I am going to share another story, the use of VR and AR in a museum in Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore.

With the Tango technology platform created by Google, the National Museum of Singapore is one of the first museums in the world to adopt this technology. Tango is a set of sensors and computer vision software that enables smartphone augmented reality that allows users to imagine new spaces, get things done, and play games in a new dimension.

Visitors can enjoy the VR and AR tour with a Tango-enabled mobile device and they can go back in time and history, to retrace and learn about the National Museum of Singapore’s early history, artefacts and exhibits over time. This is a very interesting journey and I had the opportunity to experience, test and share my stories and photos with my readers here. Using indoor mapping, VR and AR, visitors will be able to explore how the National Museum of Singapore has evolved over the past 130 years.

There are six points of interest that participants of this tour can explore on the Tango-enabled Architecture tour with the Museum guide. Let me bring you a sneak peak into some of the VR and AR scenes from the Tango-enabled mobile device.

3D model of the National Museum

At at the Main Rotunda on Level 1 and the Glass Atrium on Level 2, the visitors on this tour can activate a 3D replica of the building on the Tango-enabled mobile device, it provides information on its structural components and allows the participant to navigate around the façade. Visitors can also see how the National Museum of Singapore has changed over the years, just by using the “Time Slider” view.

Virtual World of Past Artefacts

The iconic and famous 90 feet high Rotunda at the main entrance of the National Museum of Singapore, visitors on the Tango-enabled tour are able to go back in time into a virtual world of what this space looked like in the 1950s. Spot the world of past artefacts that were once on display at this location, such as the marble bust of Sir Stamford Raffles and the famous Revere Bell. Observe the floor tiles of the National Museum of Singapore in the earlier days and the floor tiles today, can you spot the difference?

Say hi to the Whale

At the glass passage on Level 2, one of the largest frameless, self-supporting glass structures in the world, visitors can see an AR view of the museum’s iconic Indian Fin Whale Skeleton. Listen to the sound of the Indian Fin Whale “saying hi to you”! Remember to say hi back!

I strongly encourage you to sign up for this very interesting, interactive and informative tour that combines modern technology using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, with stories from the National Museum of Singapore guide leading you on the tour. This would greatly enhance learning history, heritage, culture and stories of Singapore and the National Museum of Singapore.

The tour is an hour long and registration is free, on a first come, first serve basis. If you keen to sign up for the Tango-enabled tour at the National Museum of Singapore, visit National Musuem of Singapore guided tours link and register.

Please take note that there are limited places, maximum capacity is 15 people on a first come, first serve basis, to ensure that the tour is conducted in a manner that is optimal and enjoyable for all participants.

Seats are limited! Remember to check out on the availability of the places for the upcoming tours for the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore!

* I would like to thank National Museum of Singapore for the invitation to try out the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore *

Armenian Street Party 2017 by Peranakan Museum

A short stretch of the road and space in front of the Peranakan Museum closed to the traffic for two nights, transforming into a fun party venue for visitors to bring their family, children and friends down, visit the museums and soak in the party atmosphere. This was the Armenian Street Party 2017 organised by Peranakan Museum that took place on 10th and 11th March. The Armenian Street Party made her maiden debut in 2016, I was there too at the first Armenian Street Party!

For this year 2017 Armenian Street Party, I dropped by on Friday evening and managed to catch some of the performances at the street party. The theme for Armenian Street Party 2017 was back to school, going back to the good old school nostalgia days (when we were young), some of you might remember going to detention class, disliking certain subjects such as literature, tuckshop food during recess time, English and grammar class, PE class, music class etc etc.

The Armenian Street Party was also a perfect time to visit the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum with their family, children and friends. This street party is perfect for the two museums to have more publicity and awareness from the public, they are two great museums with really great and wonderful artworks, contents and exhibitions, that the public may not know as much, compared to her bigger fellow sister museums such as the National Museum of Singapore.

At the Armenian Street Party 2017, on the Friday that I visited, I saw the mass P.E. class by Upside Motion, it’s not a bad idea to conduct P.E. class on the road without the vehicles! The iconic Peranakan Museum favourite band of singers, the Peranakan Sayang, were in action on Friday, with the theme “Balek Sekolah!”, translated to “Back to school!”. This group of singers are really good and they never fail to light up the crowds!

The Armenian Street Party is not just about the two museums, Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, it’s a community event, the kampung spirit, with fellow neighbours along Armenian Street coming in, participating and be a part of this festive party. Timbre Group, Substation, Upside Motion, True Blue Cuisine and SMU were neighbours, part of the Armenian Street kampung. They all played a part in this year’s street party.

There were also delicious food by True Blue Cuisine, selling all time favourite tuckshop treats, I didn’t manage to go down and eat all the food on Friday. I only manage to eat the laksa during the media preview (I was rushing for time on that day) prior to the street party weekend.

I took the opportunity to visit Singapore Philatelic Museum, a very short walk down the road from Peranakan Museum. I forgot when was the last time I visited this museum, they looked small in physical size yet they packed some pretty wonderful collections inside there. Touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum brought me back many memories, I used to collect stamps when I was a young kid in school and I am beginning to wonder where have I kept my stamps? Probably somewhere in my home!

After touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum, I stayed on and watched two performances –

Literature Class: Music & Prose of the Past

By Cappella Martialis

Literature Class: Will The Night Away!

By Centre Stage.

Two great performances held inside this small and cosy Singapore Philatelic Museum.

The performance “Will The Night Away!” was about a Shakespeare classic “Romeo and Juliet”, that most students would probably have studied if they took Literature during their secondary school days (I didn’t take Literature in my upper secondary school). This is Singapore style, a Singapore spin “Romeo and Ah Lian”. Their play was hilarious, interactive and engaging, with the Shakespeare exhibition theme behind them, this was a perfect setting for Romeo and Ah Lian!

Since I was only there on Friday, I couldn’t catch the rest of the performances and activities that were held during the Armenian Street Party 2017, although I did manage to catch a glimpse of some of them during the media preview.

Personally, I feel that the Armenian Street Party is a great community event that doesn’t need to go massively big, it may not (and need not) be the biggest street party event or museums event, they just leverage and combine together as the Armenian Street “kampung”, the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, along with their neighbours along Armenian Street.

Looking forward to the next edition of the Armenian Street Party!


Created with flickr slideshow.

Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail CNY 2017

The Year of the Rooster 2017 is going to start soon in about 12 days time (starting from today 16th January 2017), ushering in the Chinese New Year on the 28th January 2017. Leading up to the festive season of the Chinese Lunar New Year, we have exciting events, activities and our favourite festive bazaar at Chinatown.

Having grew up in Singapore, I visited Chinatown a number of times during the Chinese New Year festive bazaar, to indulge in the festive atmosphere. It can get really crowded during this period and this is a great time to experience the Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore.

I recently went for the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail held during the Chinese New Year 2017 festivities on 14th January 2017. Let me bring you through some of the destinations, features and highlights that you can experience for yourself with your family, relatives and friends during this Chinese New Year festivities at Chinatown (12 more days of Chinese New Year festivities before the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year on 28th January 2017)

This Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail was interesting for me because we had the gorgeous and beautiful Mediacorp artiste Sora Ma, leading us for this walking trail! She’s a great travel/tour guide, awesome interaction with the stall owners and walking trail participants, in the midst of the huge crowds and congestion!

Meeting point/Starting point: Chinatown Heritage Centre

The Chinatown Heritage Centre is an excellent destination for everybody, for the locals and our international visitor friends. This is the place where you can go and visit, to learn, see, feel and discover the footsteps of Singapore’s early pioneers and explore the personal stories of early Singaporeans who lived in Chinatown.

I visited and toured Chinatown Heritage Centre on a separate visit with my university alumni group during an alumni outing. It’s definitely an eye-opener and I strongly encourage everybody to visit Chinatown Heritage Centre. More information and details can be found on their website.

There are two exciting programmes at Chinatown Heritage Centre during the Year of the Rooster festive celebration

Happy Rooster Family Album

6 January to 28 February 2017

Daily: 9am to 8pm

27 Jan: 9am to 5pm

28 Jan: Closed

If you are born in the Year of the Rooster and you are visiting Chinatown Heritage Centre, you can get free admission into Chinatown Heritage Centre if you participate and be a part of the Happy Rooster Family Album!

Year of the Rooster Capteh Challenge

6 January to 28 February 2017

28 Jan: Closed

The capteh is a traditional game, I personally played it before when I was a young kid. A fun game, if you can juggle a football consecutively, you are definitely game enough for the capteh! It can be challenging yet it will be fun!

All you have to do is to catch Chinatown Heritage Centre’s signature memorable moments at 1pm and 4pm daily to participate in the capteh challenge. If you can keep the capteh flying in the air by kicking and controlling it for 8 consecutive times non-stop, you can win free admission to the Centre!

Try it out! It’s going to be a fun experience!

Chinese New Year Festive Street Bazaar

A must visit when you are in Chinatown during the Chinese New Year period, indulge and soak in the festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year festivities, the huge crowds, the bazaar, the goods and food on sale.

It can be very very crowded, making it very difficult to walk around the congested streets during this time. Take it slow and easy, wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Check out some of the stalls that we visited during the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail!

YouthEATS @ Temple Street

A new addition to the traditional and regular Chinese New Year festive street bazaar, it’s my first time too! You have to check out the stalls and their food below –

Must try, I reckon you would love them! Sometimes, I don’t need to write a food review for them because I just want to show you the food and where to find them! Go try it!

Spots for Chinatown light up photography

I do love coming down to Chinatown for photography during the Chinese New Year festival season. I took photos from this location previously! There are a lot of different lightings, lanterns and displays during the festive season. Let me share with you, one of the locations to view, enjoy and take photographs!

Garden Bridge (Chinatown Pedestrian Bridge)

You can’t miss this bridge when you are in Chinatown, many people use this bridge to cross from one side of Chinatown (Pagoda Street, Temple Street, Smith Street, Mosque Street) to People’s Park Complex, The Majestic, OG People’s Park.

This would be one of the locations for me to take photos of Chinatown during the Chinese New Year festive season. Visit it during the night when the lightings, lanterns and displays are lighted up, making Chinatown extra bright and colourful!

Lepark @ People’s Park Complex

This is probably one of Singapore’s not too well known yet locations that I believe would slowly grow, transform and evolve into a destination that is popular with creative artists, youth and future flea markets. Lepark is located on the 6th floor of People’s Park Complex, the roof top carpark!

I heard a lot about this location and I had yet to visit Lepark. Thanks to this special Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail, I finally got to visit Lepark. When we were up there on 14th January, there was YHFLEA: Come Lepark Edition a first-of-its-kind collective flea and car boot market with Lepark and Young Hungry Free. Although YHFLEA was only held for two days (14th and 15th January), I hope they would return again and slowly help Lepark grows into a destination for all to visit in the future.

Lepark is another ideal location for street/urban landscape photography of Chinatown and Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar CBD sector. I have a feeling that more photographers will start to visit this location as time goes by. Let’s hope that all these activities and events would slowly transform and grow Lepark at People’s Park Complex.

After visiting Lepark, this marked the ending point for this specially organised Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail tour on the 14th January 2017. It was a fun trip with Sora Ma as our tour guide! Of course, we have to take group photos with our gorgeous and beautiful Sora Ma!

The Chinese New Year festivities are now taking place at Chinatown, do visit and explore some of the festivities, locations and food that I shared here!

Thank you Ninemer PR for the invitation and Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee for organising this walking trail!

Enchanted rainforest at National Museum’s revamped Glass Rotunda

The Glass Rotunda at the National Museum of Singapore went through a revamp for the past two years and today on Friday 10th December 2016, they will reopen to the public again. The revamped Glass Rotunda is going to showcase two new permanent installations, visitors would be entering into an enchanted world of flora and fauna, mesmerised by the art light work projection displays inside the Glass Rotunda. The two new permanent installations are – “Story of the Forest”, a commissioned work by internationally renowned art collective teamLab and “Singapore, Very Old Tree” exhibit by acclaimed local photographer and artist Robert Zhao.

Story of the Forest by teamLab, is a very beautiful and engaging light artwork projection display (FYI, teamLab was the artist for iLightMarinaBay 2016 Art Science Museum installation display!). They are inspired by the rich ecological heritage and history of the tropical rainforest, the flora and fauna that lives in the tropical rainforest, with sights and sounds that visitors can identify with. Upon entering into the Glass Rotunda, be prepared to be mesmerised and blown away by the enchanted rainforest. The ceiling of the Glass Rotunda is 15m high and visitors are going to walk down a 170m passage to the base of the Glass Rotunda. At the beginning of your enchanted rainforest journey, visitors will be welcomed and greeted by constant celestial movements of flora that falls from the top of the dome structure.

As you walk across the bridge, into the middle section of the Glass Rotunda, the night turns into day. Continue walking, observe and experience the life, the richness and gorgeous colours of the tropical rainforest beside you, as you walked down the passage. Do not rush, enjoy the time and tranquility, spot the animals such as the animated Malayan Tapir. Nearing the bottom/lower segment of the Glass Rotunda, the scenes started to turn dark, entering into the night time zone.

Reaching the base of the Glass Rotunda, look up above, walk around, get close to the walls and interact with the light artwork projections. Experience and witness with your own eyes and heart, the growth and bloom of native flowers and fruits. If you prefer to lie down on the ground and look up above into the top of the Glass Rotunda, go ahead and do it! The base section of the Glass Rotunda is really amazing, it’s a mix of an enchanted rainforest, night sky and space. When I was there looking up at the enchanted rainforest inside the Glass Rotunda, how I secretly wish that they could fly me away inside the enchanted rainforest world!

There is an app for you to download into your smartphone that can enhance your visitor experience at Story of the Forest inside the Glass Rotund. It’s available to download for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Once you exit from the Story of the Forest installation, you will enter into another world, iconic trees that showcase the roots and history of Singapore. Some of the trees are not just iconic, they are a part of Singapore, the heart, culture and society, the personal and intimate connections that bind the trees and people of Singapore together. In my exploration and documentation of old places in Singapore over the years, as well as growing up in Singapore, I can identify some of the old trees on display and I can relate to the personal and intimate connections between the trees, society and people.

Once you completed touring both Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree, visitors have the option of beginning their experience of the Singapore History Gallery from the Glass Rotunda. I visited the Singapore History Gallery before and this tour schedule starting from Story of the Forest, followed by Singapore, Very Old Tree and starting the Singapore History Gallery tour is a pretty good itinerary for a visit to the National Museum of Singapore with your family and friends.

Come on down and visit the National Museum of Singapore, let yourself be mesmerised by the enchanted Story of the Forest, Singapore, Very Old Tree and take a walk down into Singapore’s History Gallery!

Fore more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.sg

One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang

On that one night in the early 20th century that started, defined and created a new era, a revolution that changed an entire country, China. This special exhibition currently ongoing at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall in Singapore gives a great and amazing insight into the history, culture and stories of that One Night in Wuchang, the 1911 Revolution and how Nanyang played her role in this revolution.

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At the official opening of the One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang special exhibition at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, graced by many VIPs attending and touring this special exhibition. I had the opportunity to learn and understand more about this particular segment of China’s history from the last Qing dynasty to the founding of modern China in her 1911 Revolution.

This was also my maiden visit into the exhibition halls of Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, this special exhibition is a perfect fit to understand how the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall came about and the role this double storey villa played in the 1911 Revolution. Dr Sun Yat Sen chose Singapore as the headquarters of his revolutionary movement in this double storey villa Wan Qing Yuan (current Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall), garnering support for his Tong Meng Hui or Chinese Revolution Alliance in Nanyang. When you first enter into Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, you would pass by a gallery showcasing Singapore’s early pioneers, the key supporters of Dr Sun Yat Sen in Singapore.

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Before entering into the special gallery where the One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang special exhibition is held, there are introductions/short write ups and a timeline on both sides of the wall leading into the special gallery, I strongly encourage the visitors to make a stop, read the introductions and look at the timeline first before entering into the special gallery and starting your tour of the special exhibition.

Walk inside, turn left and start the tour of One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang. This special exhibition may look small in scale size yet it is packed with a rich volume in history, culture, sociology, information, values and treasures. Some of the items inside the special exhibition are priceless, you can’t put a monetary value on them.

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This special exhibition One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang not just traces the stories behind the stories of the 1911 Revolution, it also pays a tribute to Dr Sun Yat Sen, his revolution, his supporters and how this brought about cultural changes to the Chinese and the dawn of a new era in China’s modern history in the areas of republicanism, national identity and citizenship.

From paintings, to calligraphy, invitations, identity cards, advertisements, uniforms, bonds and money. Visitors can have a close up view of the items that defined and shaped the identity of modern China after the fall of the dynasty. I strongly encourage you to visit this special exhibition whereby you can have the feel and connection with this special (and important) part of China’s rich and long history. Visiting Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, you will be able to know and understand how Nanyang (Singapore) played a role in the 1911 Revolution.

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Take a walk back in time, through this special exhibition at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and you would be able to see, learn, feel and understand the stories behind the stories of One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang.

I would like to thank National Heritage Board and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall for the invitation to the official opening of the special exhibition.

Key information on One Night in WuChang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang Special Exhibition

Location: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Period: 5th November 2016 – 30th April 2017

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Tuesday – Sunday)

Address: 12 Tai Gin Road Singapore 327874

Hotline: 6256 7377

Website: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall


Created with flickr slideshow.

Celebrating the beauty of the Malay language at Malay CultureFest 2016

Language, its role, significance and importance can never be compromised and neglected. Over many centuries, the human race evolved and transformed, using language to communicate and connect with people among themselves and others around the world. In Singapore, a multi-racial society that was slowly built up over time, Singaporeans and visitors from around the world have the opportunity to be exposed to a number of different languages. Through our communal living and interaction, we are able to pick up some bits and pieces of other languages in Singapore beside having learnt our own mother tongue and the English language.

Bahasa Melayu (the Malay language) is a language that plays a part in our daily life of every Singaporean, there is something special about Bahasa Melayu without us knowing it. They have always been near to us and close to our hearts of every Singaporean, regardless of race. We used Bahasa Melayu everyday in our daily conversations with Singaporeans from all walks of life. This year, Bahasa (a.k.a Language) takes centre stage as the theme for Malay CultureFest 2016 and its 5th Annual Special Exhibition at the Malay Heritage Centre.

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On Saturday 15th October 2016, I attended the official opening event of the Malay CultureFest 2016 and Mereka Utusan: Imprinting Malay Modernity at the Malay Heritage Centre. Visitors watched performances on stage, Malam Dondang Sayang and Alunan Gambus before proceeding to visit the Mereka Utusan exhibition.

Let me share more about Mereka Utusan: Imprinting Malay Modernity 1920s – 1960s and Malay CultureFest 2016 – celebrating Bahasa Melayu in arts and culture.

Mereka Utusan: Imprinting Malay Modernity 1920s – 1960s

This exhibition is held inside 2 small galleries at the Malay Heritage Centre, yet they are very rich in content and history. Mereka Utusan opens my eyes, my mind and knowledge, there is always something to know, learn, explore and understand more about our multi-racial, multi-cultural Singapore society, our fellow Singaporeans from different ethnic groups. Singapore is a young country packed with a pretty significant volume of history, heritage and culture, that we might not have fully learned and known by Singaporeans today.

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Mereka Utusan showcases the insights into the development of Malay modernity and identity through the language of advertisements and editorial cartoons produced during the 1920s to 1960s. In the 1920s period, there was a growth of Malay publishing houses throughout the Straits Settlements and inside the 2 galleries at the Malay Heritage Centre, you can have a close up look of the various newspapers and magazines displayed inside the Mereka Utusan exhibition.

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When I toured the Mereka Utusan exhibition, there were a lot of interesting items, newspaper, magazines, cartoons and exhibits. Through this exhibition, I learned more about Malay culture and language, its influence and impacts on the publishing and printing industry in early Singapore.

Malay CultureFest 2016 – celebrating Bahasa Melayu in arts and culture

The Malay CultureFest 2016 runs from 15th October to 5th November 2016, celebrating Bahasa Melayu in arts and culture. This is a very enriching, exciting and entertaining experience through the performing arts. With a line up of 21 different programmes, visitors to Malay CultureFest 2016 are able to enjoy dance and music performances, education talks, tours and interesting workshops. There is something for everybody, from the adults to young children.

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Keep a lookout for the Malam Dondang Sayang, a really fun and witty exchanges of pantun, directed by respected writer and composer Datuk Suhaimi Mohd Zain (Pak Ngah), you would love the energy, singing and “chit chat” when they are performing. There is also a musical collaboration Alunan Gambus between Singapore group Sri Mahligai and Malaysia’s Kuympulan Gambus Nurulhilal as part of the inaugural Singapore Gambus Conference.

There are other interesting programmes e.g. specially curated Publishers and Printers Heritage Trail around Kampong Gelam, hands-on workshops for printing art etc. For more information on the Malay CultureFest 2016, do visit Malay Heritage Centre website www.malayheritage.org.sg

I would like to thank National Heritage Board for the invitation to the official opening event of the Malay CultureFest 2016 and Mereka Utusan exhibition.

Old Playgrounds Lanterns at Wan Qing Yuan Mid Autumn Festival 2016

My favourite old playgrounds of Singapore, of my childhood days, came back to life in the form of brightly lighted handmade lanterns. It’s more than just nostalgic, it meant a lot to me personally. For those who had been following my photography works, documentation and story telling, old playgrounds had been my personal project for a few years.

When my friends at National Heritage Board informed us of these old playgrounds lanterns were to be part of Wan Qing Yuan Mid Autumn Festival 2016 at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, my eyes popped up! I was looking forward to visiting them!

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I managed to plan my time and schedule, making a pilgrimage to view my Old Playgrounds lanterns on Tuesday 13th September night. Upon reaching the entrance, I saw the big bright lights from the Old Playgrounds lanterns. They were pretty big and I was able to get up close with them. Immediately, I am able to identify all the Old Playgrounds there, it felt like going back in time to my childhood days again. I saw young children playing with their lanterns around the Old Playgrounds lanterns, they were having so much fun. Sometimes, we adults all have a secret wish to be a young kid again and just have fun like them.

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I walked around, soaking in the Mid Autumn Festival with the Old Playgrounds lanterns. It was a bag of mixed emotions, of nostalgia, fun and longing for the free fun childhood running around days at the Old Playgrounds. The Old Playgrounds may not be of greater significance compared to some other aspects of heritage and history. However, the cultural and emotional communal bondings, intangible and tucked inside our hearts and souls, we all might be carrying a fondness for them and a wish to return to the fun days.

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The Wan Qing Yuan Mid Autumn Festival 2016 is until 18th September 2016, time to bring your family and children down there for a Mid Autumn Festival outing and a time for family bonding and story telling of your good old childhood days playing at the old playgrounds.

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Come on down, take a walk into the world of bright and colourful Old Playgrounds!

Details

Location: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Address: 12 Tai Gin Road Singapore 327874

Dates: 9th September to 18th September 2016

Time: 7pm to 10pm


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Common Grounds – Gallery Open House @ National Gallery Singapore

The National Gallery Singapore upsized weekend festival Common Grounds took place on 11th and 12th June 2016. This was a festival packed with many different types of fun interactive activities for all visitors to participate and enjoy.

What were some of the fun and exciting programmes that were held during the Common Grounds weekend festival? Let me bring you there with my stories and photos ~

Art Alive

There were a number of 3D photo backdrops and floor vinyl located across different segments of National Gallery Singapore, bringing the artworks from the exhibitions to life. Art Alive was popular with the visitors there, it was really interesting and funny to see how they strike funny body poses and faces when they were at the various 3D photo backdrops.

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Nostalgic Pop Up Market

Reliving the past through the markets, the pop-up street scape at the National Gallery’s basement concourse. Traditional nostalgic games like the chapteh or pick-up sticks proved to be a fun and enjoyable leisure activity for both the young and adults! The Chinese calligraphy writing was popular too, a queue was spotted waiting to meet the Chinese calligraphy master and collecting their beautiful calligraphy artwork! There were also paper cutting and a chance to take a photo with the trishaw too!

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Family Fun

There were events for families with children to participate together, through art-making. These art events served as a good bonding time for the whole family and it was ideal for the young children to explore art and craft at a young age.

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Fusion Music Performances

At the Padang Atrium, this location is going to transform into a hot spot for watching performances in the future. The talented musicians from various disciplines, from traditional to the contemporary, from jazz to world music, all of them performed a musical feast for the ears at the Padang Atrium, entertaining the visitors with the different types of music.

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Kopi Talk

This event Kopi Talk, is an interactive and experiential storytelling activity, with the questions based on hawker food, heritage and related art. This was all about sharing and chatting with strangers in your group, along with a cuppa of kopi or teh. The activity was simple yet very interesting, draw a card from the 2 sets of cards, read out the question to the rest of the group and start sharing away! These topics touched my heart a lot, somehow, I managed to share quite a fair bit there during Kopi Talk with the people inside my small group interaction.

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With more interesting and interactive events taking place at National Gallery Singapore, it is slowly building up its presence and branding among the various museums and heritage institutions in Singapore.


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Singapore Heritage Festival 2016

The Singapore Heritage Festival 2016 was recently concluded on 15th May 2016, over a three weeks period starting on 29th April 2016. The heritage festival 2016 was packed with events, exhibitions, workshops, performances, guided tours, talks etc. I wasn’t able to attend all of them and I was only able to visit the weekend highlights on 29th April and 30th April – A Taste of Heritage at the National Museum of Singapore, on 14th May 2016, Movies Under the Ubin Stars and Music Performances @ Ubin.

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For the two Singapore Heritage Festival events that I attended, they attracted quite a big group of visitors to the event. The Taste of Heritage was really great, bringing back the food stalls that once plied their food and trade outside the National Museum of Singapore. Their popularity can be seen from the steady lines of queue for the various food stalls. Visitors at the National Museum of Singapore were treated to traditional dance performances under the stars, with strings of colourful light bulbs providing the glamorous fun night out. I would really love to buy some of those food from the stalls during A Taste of Heritage, sit on the wooden stools/benches and enjoy a night out under the city star lights. However, it was too popular and quite packed for me to buy the food and a seat under the Singapore night sky. Nevertheless, it was a great nostalgic atmosphere that I really enjoyed.

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During Singapore Heritage Festival 2016, P. Ubin played a significant role, with the island involved to be part of the Singapore Heritage festivities during 14th and 15th May 2016. During that weekend, it was an awesome opportunity for those who don’t know much about P. Ubin to visit the little island off the north-east area of Singapore and learn from the various activities and events organised for Singapore Heritage Festival 2016.

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The highlight for me was Movies Under the Ubin Stars and Music Performances @ Ubin on 14th May 2016. I went over in the late afternoon, catching the music performances @ Ubin by a few young upcoming and also some established musicians too. During the intervals, I walked around the main village area, this area seemed to have stopped in time, most of them were pretty much still in their original design and decoration. I first visited P.Ubin in 1990 during my secondary school days, while some other parts of P.Ubin had changed (quite a lot for some parts of Ubin), the main village still remains iconic and nostalgic.

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As dusk approaches, the wayang stage and the open area there came to life with visitors and the Ubin residents gathering there like the good old days watching an opera performance, except that we were watching a movie by Royston Tan, tittled “Homecoming”, a new film about Pulau Ubin by Royston Tan (world premiere). This new film is commissioned by the National Museum of Singapore for Singapore Heritage Festival 2016.

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The settings were perfect, the venue was perfect to show the “Homecoming” movie, truly and authentic, Movies Under the Ubin Stars! The P. Ubin weather was just nice in the night, cooling, refreshing after the late afternoon rain. The visitors and Ubin residents were eagerly anticipating for the start of “Homecoming”, it meant something deep down, deep inside their hearts, it meant something special to the Ubin residents and it definitely struck a deep chord inside me. “Homecoming” connects the residents to their Ubin roots and Singaporeans to the history and heritage of P.Ubin and how P.Ubin played a part in Singapore’s early nation building years. When I was watching the movie from the back of the crowds, my friend Belinda introduced me to Royston Tan! I am a big fan of his works and it was a great honour to meet him in person!

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When the movie “Homecoming” was being screened, we can hear the crowds shouting out their fellow Ubin residents’ names when their acting part came into play, acknowledging the community spirit and bonding on P.Ubin. Do we still have this community spirit and bonding in the modern Singapore society today? Would we able to bring this “Homecoming” back into our modern Singapore society?

As the movie drew to a close, the lights came up again, with a huge, loud and warm round of applause filled the Ubin village ground. This was really heartwarming! The cast and crew of “Homecoming” went up to the wayang stage, it’s like a meet the fans segment! The photography moments, taking group photos, celebrating the history and heritage of Pulau Ubin.

Leaving on the bumboat ride out of P.Ubin, on the night of 14th May 2016, this had been a great and wonderful Singapore Heritage Festival 2016, this was Homecoming to me.


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